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Mid-Atlantic Popular &
American Culture Association

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LinkedIn: Perceptions of Self-Representation in Professional Social Media Networks

Abstract: 

How do we represent ourselves online professionally? How much truth exists in social media? According to Pring (2012), approximately 66% of online adults are connected to one or more social media services with 50% of users checking in to their favorite networks while having their first cup of coffee in the morning. Social media is pervasive and invasive in our daily lives.

In this paper presentation, discussants will: 1. Explore recent investigations into the notion of “self,” and “identity,” and “representation” within social media networks; 2. Share preliminary findings of a pilot study applying Goffman’s (1959) concept of self representation within the social media network LinkedIn.

Erving Goffman`s book Presentation of Self in Everyday Life provides an interesting slant on communications for the analysis of social media. Goffman employs the “dramaturgical approach,” which aids him in presenting his ideas on viewing the self within the social context (1959, 240). Interaction is called “performance,” influenced by both environment and audience. In the process, actors impart “impressions” that are in harmony with the actor’s intentions (17). The theory’s main premise is that social interaction is at the heart of communication, using actors as symbols of individuals and performances as the impressions made to others. Presenters will share a modern application of Goffman’s theory from a pilot investigation of LinkedIn users.

References Goffman, E. (1959) The presentation of everyday life. New York: Doubleday.
Pring, C. (2012). 99 New Social Media Stats for 2012. The Social Skinny: The Inside Scoop on Social Media. Retrieved from http://thesocialskinny.com/99-new-so...

Presentation type: 
Paper

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